September 11, 2015 – According to an August 2015 survey issued by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Richmond, mobile banking has begun to outpace consumer adoption of the technology, while a March 2015 report from the Federal Reserve notes that about 52% of smartphone users use mobile banking and other apps to help them budget and track their money. Many banks, credit unions, and related financial institutions have continued to up their mobile offerings, driven by the need to attract and retain customers while competing with other services and institutions. Indeed, earlier in the summer several reports cropped up concerned with bank closings due to a general migration over to mobile and online banking.
The concern over the security of using our mobile phones for transactions where our personal identifying information is flying through the cloud has been mounting in recent years.
Indeed, according to a study conducted by MarketResearch.com, global cybersecurity is forecasted to jump from $106.32 billion in 2015 to $170.21 billion by 2020. With the hacks on Ashley Madison and Established Men still fresh on our minds, and the Target and WalMart hacks not far behind them, it’s no wonder that many companies and financial institutions are nervous.
Interestingly enough, late last month, an appellate court affirmed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)'s role in “policing the cybersecurity of commercial companies, a role some have argued is an overreach of the regulator's authority.” As the costs of cybersecurity rise and the number of people using cloud-based and related technologies rise with it, many see the affirmation of the FTC’s governance as a step in the right direction. Others disagree, citing government oversight as an egregiously interloping regulator.
According to a Federal Times article, the FTC “is making major decisions about what constitutes strong cybersecurity for the private sector — decisions the commissioners themselves aren't always educated about.”
Whether or not that is true remains to be seen, but either way, the fact remains: cybersecurity threats are stronger and more prevalent than ever, and continue to increase exponentially with every new piece of technology that is introduced to the unwary consumer. There needs to be a driving force behind improvement in effective cybersecurity.
Boyd, Aaron. “Should FTC regulate commercial cybersecurity?” Federal Times. Tegna Co., 25 August 2015. Web. 8 September 2015.